First of all, if you find a hood the same color as your car, you don't have to do any painting at all, just bolt it on and make a few adjustments so the gaps line up. The primer only applies to having a body shop paint a new hood or a used one that is the wrong color when you buy it. When you buy a new replacement hood, it will have a black electrostatic coating. That is not paint or primer. It is an anti-rust coating. All new panels will have minor imperfections that must be tweaked and sanded before they are painted. That tweaking and the paint are the expensive items.
Pull-A-Part doesn't buy wrecked cars, only cars that people bring in themselves, so they usually have engine or transmission trouble, not body damage. I got a rust-free lift gate and sliding door for my old '88 Grand Caravan for under $100.00 for the pair, with all the trim panels and latch hardware.
Before you remove the new hood, dig through the other cars to find some floor mats to throw on the ground to set it on. The yards have crushed rocks on the ground which will scratch the paint. If you lean the hood against the car while you run to find one of the "parts hauler guys", they will likely carry the hood from the car to their hauler, and you can drag the floor mats along and throw them on the trailer first. You'll be amazed at what else you can find that might work, like cardboard, bubble wrap, and stuff like that.
Without actually seeing your hood, I'm visualizing needing two wrenches, ... Well, ... Probably only one wrench. Strictly as a guess, I would suggest a 15 mm box wrench for the bolts on the hinges. Try it on your car first. In the rare event you have to transfer your old latch to the new hood, that might take a different size wrench. Chances are no one swiped the latch from the new hood so that won't be a problem unless you have to loosen it to adjust its position. Once the new hood is bolted on, close it very slowly while watching to see if it is going to hit or catch on anything. Use some small carpet scraps or cardboard under the two rear corners while you're making adjustments. If the hood slips down when you loosen the bolts, it won't nick the paint on the hood or fenders.
You might consider taking along a six-pack of soda to entice a couple of people to help you install the new hood right there in the parking lot. That way you don't have to transport it and you can leave the old one there. They might have a "core charge" where they give you a couple of dollars back for the old one.
Rather than buying the tools, ask some of the guys in one of your classes or in the dorms if they have a few wrenches you could borrow. I'm sure it won't take long to find someone with tools. By the way, I noticed you used "your" instead of "you're". Don't do that on your papers. I still have nightmares from my years in college, and graduate class over-educated idiot professors can be some of the least forgiving teachers, not the sweet, understanding teacher I was. What are you studying, and which school are you attending? In case you can't tell, I don't have much use for four-year colleges.
Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 AT 6:57 PM